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Thread: New feature

  1. #1
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    New feature

    I just noticed tonight - while I was checking to see how far this summers 50+ get together is on Google maps - they added a feature so you could get bike directions between two places. I tried from my house to Watkins Glen, it gave me a pretty good route utilizing a lot of the bike paths that exist. It also allows you to change the path between the end points. This is really quite cool. All they need to add is an elevation profile and this could be a really useful tool.

    BTW - from my house to Watkins Glen - I got it down to 192 miles by bicycle, could be an ultra-bike ride if I choose to go that way...
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Germans invade Poland!
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    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Germans invade Poland!
    The British must also be coming - oh well, so much too keep up with these days. I'm sure glad bicycles never change
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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    Senior Moment bikegeek57's Avatar
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    glad you found the new feature. read the title and thought uh oh some new Microsoft bug is on the loose... ;-)

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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I ran a couple of my distance ride routes on the Google map feature. One thing that I noticed was the routes would detour around climbs or just larger hills. The route would break off a main road then take a side road and loop back to the main road. I would suggest anyone using the feature to compare the route to one supplied by GPS myride, Bikely or Map My Ride.
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  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I think they use specific route information where they have it and they use computer formulas to choose routes where no info is available. I have noticed that some of the routes they give in my area go on roads that I know are not paved. I need to figure out how to provide suggestions. this is a nice feature and I'm sure the quality of the routes will improve over time.
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  7. #7
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    One thing that I noticed was the routes would detour around climbs or just larger hills. The route would break off a main road then take a side road and loop back to the main road.
    I think they're slanting more towards "people who want to take a bike ride" as opposed to cyclists like us. Another thing that points in that direction is their time estimate. On my regular commute to the library, it estimates 29 minutes. My actual clock time ranges from 22 to 25, and my ride time is 15-20.

    I don't have actual clock time for this one because I had to fix a flat, but I modified the middle section of my once-a-week three-legged commute between my two workplaces. I lengthened it at each end to fit my intended ride, then I rode it yesterday.

    It estimated 57 minutes for the 10.2 mile mostly-MUP ride. I rode 10.44 miles in 41:41--into a 20-30 MPH headwind--and had a flat along the way.

    My conclusion is they estimate speeds for the occasional cyclist on a hybrid. I imagine they account for climbing the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I think they use specific route information where they have it and they use computer formulas to choose routes where no info is available. I have noticed that some of the routes they give in my area go on roads that I know are not paved. I need to figure out how to provide suggestions. this is a nice feature and I'm sure the quality of the routes will improve over time.
    On some of my routes, it credits the Rails to Trails Conservancy. It missed a couple of MUPs entirely though, so I'm not sure who's responsible for that. Doesn't matter, I guess. I reported the missing MUPs.

    The routing will improve with judicious use of their feedback feature, found with every routing. Much of it is opinion, however, and everyone's opinion will be different. Unpaved roads are entirely appropriate for some, but perhaps not for roadies.

    EDIT: In the city, it prefers to route through residential side streets. I personally don't care for all the meandering and four-way stop signs this entails. I prefer longer, straight sections with fewer turns and stops. This means arterials. Many cyclists--particularly inexperienced ones--dislike arterials. It seems to favor them. I can't count that as a flaw.

    While certainly not out-of-the-park, I think they hit a stand-up double on their first at-bat.
    Last edited by tsl; 03-19-10 at 12:34 PM.
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    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    BTW - from my house to Watkins Glen - I got it down to 192 miles by bicycle, could be an ultra-bike ride if I choose to go that way...
    Does this mean you'll be joining us for the ride in June?
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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    My understanding is, it is a work in progress. They are asking for helpful suggestions.

    I ran some of my routes through it and the results were mixed. They often used roads with more traffic than my selected, time tested roads. Perhaps their computer has it's reasons.

    Overall, I like it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I just noticed tonight - while I was checking to see how far this summers 50+ get together is on Google maps - they added a feature so you could get bike directions between two places. I tried from my house to Watkins Glen, it gave me a pretty good route utilizing a lot of the bike paths that exist. It also allows you to change the path between the end points. This is really quite cool. All they need to add is an elevation profile and this could be a really useful tool.

    BTW - from my house to Watkins Glen - I got it down to 192 miles by bicycle, could be an ultra-bike ride if I choose to go that way...
    Unfortunately this feature is not available, here in Canada, at least not yet.....

  11. #11
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    I read the title and thought there was a new feature in the 50+ forum.
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  12. #12
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Does this mean you'll be joining us for the ride in June?
    I laying out my season schedule now. As far as location - I can't use the excuse of too expensive to travel. I'll let you know soon, but I will if there is time to fit every thing in.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  13. #13
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    In ridewithgps.com, you can click Cycling instead of Driving on the right side panel. Then it'll skip highways and will use bike paths if available. It's a bit faster, since I don't have to force it to route around freeways, etc.

    I use ridewithgps if I want to save a route or send it to someone. I'll use google maps directly if I'm just trying to get a rough estimate of distances or to play around with alternate routes, since I can just grab a route and drag it over to a different street.

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